As part of Suffolk’s ongoing blue light collaboration work, the two emergency services have been working together and now share response and SNT bases in seven locations across Suffolk, including Clare, which is a drop in base for passing patrols.
Felixstowe fire station has been adapted specifically to accommodate fire and police teams and improve the facilities provided. Sharing property reduces costs and saves money for the taxpayer.
Suffolk County Councillor Matthew Hicks and Tim Passmore, Police and Crime Commissioner, formally opened the £524,000 shared base, which has financial support from the Home Office, on Tuesday 1 August. The facility, which includes a new purpose built office accommodation for the police, improved facilities for staff and the town council CCTV system, facilities for community groups and local residents to hold meetings and dedicated police and fire parking for operational vehicles.
The base, designed by Concertus and built by Brooks and Wood Ltd, accommodates a team of on-call firefighters and the police Local Safer Neighbourhood Team, along with CCTV monitoring volunteers.
This is the seventh shared community fire and police facility in Suffolk with stations already operating in Woodbridge, Ixworth, Elmswell, Debenham, Framlingham and Clare. Work is ongoing for joint stations in Saxmundham, which officially opens on 14 August, and Newmarket, which is scheduled to complete by the end of the year. There are plans for further joint stations in Beccles, Leiston and Stowmarket along with some further sharing opportunities of functions in Ipswich.
Tim Passmore, Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner said, “I am absolutely delighted to see another shared base for police and fire in the county and particularly pleased that we were able to secure additional Government funding to finance the project.
“Working together with other blue light services is absolutely key to meeting the financial challenges that we face. The existing shared stations across the county are working really well and we are seeing the benefits of reduced operating costs and improved joint working between our two key emergency services. I am committed to building on this shared working over the coming years.”
Councillor Matthew Hicks, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for public protection, said, “We have already seen benefits in developing ‘blue light’ stations with our partners in the police and the ambulance service in Suffolk. It saves the public purse the cost of running multiple buildings and enables emergency services to work closely together in supporting the community they serve. The sharing of facilities has also opened up further opportunities to collaborate in areas of service delivery, improving efficiencies and engagement with members of the public.”